Award for Gallantry: Lieu. (E.W.) Kevin Walton

Eric William Kevin Walton, known as Kevin Walton, was an officer in the Royal Navy during World War II.

Born in Kobe in Japan on 15 May 1918, Lieu Walton was the son of William Heward Murray Walton, a clergyman and missionary, and his wife Myra (née Hebbert), whose family had served for four generations in the Indian Civil Service.

Walton joined the Royal Navy as an engineer officer at the start of World War II, and took part in various naval actions during the first five years.  Walton later served as engineer officer in destroyers and took part in the Barents Sea action aboard HMS Onslow on 31st December 1942, against the German cruiser Admiral Hipper and the Deutschland-class cruiser Lützow.

During this battle Onslow was badly damaged, and it was because of Walton’s skill and determination that the ship was able to stay afloat long enough to reach port. For this action Walton received the Distinguished Service Cross.

This newspaper report from the Bromley & District Times newspaper  features details of this award.

For Gallantry

D.S.C. for Lieutenant (E.) E. W. Kevin Walton, R.N.

The King has approved the award of th Distinguished Service Cross to Lieut. (E.) E. W. Kevin Walton, R.N., in recognition of his gallantry.

He is the son of the Rev. W. H. Murray Walton M.A., Vicar of Bromley and Mrs Walton, of The Vicarage, Church Road.

It will be recalled that Lieutenant Kevin Walton was on eof the gallant officers serving in H.M.S. Onslow, which with other destroyers drove off heavy German naval forces attacking a convoy to Russia off the North Cape.

Captain Robert St. Vincent Sherberooke, D.S.O., who commanded the destroyers, was in H.M.S. Onslow.  He was awarded the V.C. (Victoria Cross) for “his courage, his fortitude, and his cool prompt decisions.”  Captain Sherbrooke is a kinsman of the faous Lord St. Vincent, whom Nelson regarded as “a leader after my own heart.”

Lieutenant Walton was educated at Monkton Combe School, Bath, and at the City and Guilds College of Engineering, London.  He joined the Royal Navy at the outbreak of war, and is 25 years of age.

He is a member of the Bromley branch of the Royal Naval Old Comrades’ Association.  His brother, A.B. Patrick S. Murray Walton, who has been serving on another destroyer, is home on leave after covering 40,000 miles in convoy and other duties in the Atlantic.

A personal account of the attack can been read on the BBC – WW2 People’s War website.

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